Testing the U.S. Army conducted in June proved that equipping an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for an airborne electronic attack role is “technically and tactically feasible.” The service will continue experimenting with the system, although it has no immediate plans to field it on a UAS.
Civilian operators that work in combat environments now have an option to equip their helicopters with electronic warfare devices that can detect incoming missiles and launch chaff and/or flare countermeasures. Rotorcraft Services Group (RSG, Booth No. 1206) recently signed an agreement with Switzerland-based Ruag Schweiz to provide integration and qualification services for Ruag’s Integrated Self-Protection System (ISSYS) Plug-on-Device (POD) for use in the civil aviation market.
Saab (Booth C11) has many years of experience devising protection systems for combat aircraft, and here at Singapore 2014 it is showing its latest offering, the ESTL. Formerly known as BOH, it is a modular system that draws on several of the company’s successful missile warning and countermeasures systems to create a cost-efficient means of protecting combat aircraft against current and predicted infrared and radar-guided missile threats.
Selex ES revealed its development of an expendable active-radar decoy (EAD) for combat aircraft. The BriteCloud is the size and shape of a flare and can be dispensed from a standard 55-mm flare cartridge. Flight-tests will take place next year on a Saab Gripen, and customers for the Swedish fighter will be the first to be offered the new electronic warfare device.
With around 1,000 employees, the electronic warfare arm of Selex ES is a major player in the EW marketplace, as a lead integrator on programs, such as the Praetorian defensive system of the Eurofighter Typhoon; a provider of equipment; and as a developer of new technology. It is also increasingly involved in supporting EW operations of air arms as nations move toward greater control over their own electronic warfare resources.
The U.S. Navy’s estimated $7 billion Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) development does not duplicate any existing airborne electronic attack capability. But the potential exists for some “overlap” with electronic attack systems being developed by other U.S. military services, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) advises.
General Atomics has demonstrated electronic attack capability on an MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft fitted with a Northrop Grumman jamming pod. A test flight took place during a U.S. Marine Corps weapons and tactics instructor (WTI) course in April, the results of which have only now been made public.
Selex ES is supporting sales of electronic warfare equipment with training courses in the company’s EWOS (electronic warfare operational support) facility at Lincoln, UK. A group of 11 Kuwait Air Force (KAF) personnel has just completed a training course there on the company’s Hidas (helicopter integrated defensive aids system) that equips the KAF’s AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters. The courses at the EWOS are also designed to allow customers to develop their own EWOS capabilities, so that they can react independently to meet emerging electronic threats.
Italian avionics group Elettronica is demonstrating the Virgilius integrated electronic warfare (EW) architecture system at its Paris Air Show exhibit (Hall 1 E294), as well as the ELT/572 directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system for protecting against man-portable air defense (Manpad) weapons. It has also unveiled its latest self-protection suite for combat search-and-rescue helicopters.
Rockwell Collins is warning that there are considerable risks that operators run when hooking up various web-based systems, Wi-Fi, satcoms–in fact anything where they are opening up ways for would-be cyber-attackers. Steve Timm, the company’s v-p and general manager of Flight Information Solutions, told AIN at EBACE that the main risk arises not when the aircraft is en route, but on the ground.
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